Companies worldwide have overspent by about $1bn on application server technology since 1998, according to Gartner. Furthermore, the research predicts that companies could waste $2bn more between now and 2003.
Gartner blames unscrupulous vendors who encourage customers to buy high-end technology that they don't need.
"When there is confusion the vendors have been all too willing to take advantage of that," said Gartner vice president and research director David Smith.
The report estimated that at least 70% of new applications will be deployed on high-end application servers. However, Gartner also warned that some application server packages would not support all technology standards. For example, Microsoft's product line will not support Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE).
Gartner recommended that when purchasing application server technology, companies should check their technology inventory to make sure they do not already have the capability they need.